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Ten Billion People, 208 Pages

July 11, 2013 | Posted by Microsoft Research Blog

Posted by Rob Knies

Ten Billion book cover

In 2012, Stephen Emmott, head of the Computational Science Laboratory based at Microsoft Research Cambridge, took the stage in London for a one-man show called Ten Billion that underscored the challenges the world faces in a century when the global population is expected to surpass that figure.

It was a riveting experience—for those who got a chance to experience it.

On July 11, that circle will begin to expand dramatically. Penguin Random House, the newly conjoined combination of publishing powerhouses, will release Science Museum.

Rest assured that no punches are being pulled in the book. Emmott was asked if there were any step that could be taken—by industry, by government, by individuals—to move things in the right direction. He, though, was having none of it.

“Part of the problem,” he stated, “is that we typically look to or hope for some kind of ‘magic bullet’ to solve our problems, from individual well-being to the planetary-scale problem I try to outline in Ten Billion. I don’t think there is any ‘one step’ solution to the problems we face.”

Now, we all have an opportunity to access this provocative thesis. Pull up a chair—but first, you might consider pouring yourself a stiff drink.